19 August 2016
I’m listening to Coldplay sing about a place that. ‘…could be Paradise’ as I sit on my couch watching boats zipping around on the Broadwater out of my stern window…….yes I am home, and while my life is not everyone’s idea of Paradise, it comes pretty close to being mine.
I came home to stay on Wednesday after a brief visit on Monday to see if I could actually do it, and then a trip to my physio on Tuesday to go through moves and strategies and strengthening exercises designed to make all those manoeuvres more manageable.
While being incredibly grateful for the generosity of my Women Who Sail friend, Gail, it was such a thrill to pack all my clothes and the many books and balls of knitting wool I had accumulated during my stay and pile them into the car and head home! I was so thankful and at the same time so desperate to leave! Generosity of that sort touches a place deep in our souls and while I barely knew Gail at first I am sure we will always be friends now.
I was elated to drive home and after Erina kindly carried all my bags from the car and got them to the boat, even more elated to make a cup of tea in my own kitchen, unpack and allow myself the luxury of feeling ‘at home’.
Three months is an incredibly long time to be away from one’s home – I feel like I missed winter entirely even though I did have it elsewhere – but not having it at home leaves me feeling as if somehow time had stood still while I was away!
In a very strange way it’s actually a little easier for me to manage on the boat – rather ironic really. Although it wouldn’t have been possible before now.
I was using one crutch most of the time before returning and do still need to walk with one most of the time, and two for longer distances, and even the occasional motorised scooter around the larger shopping malls, but on board the boat everything is so close together and there are hand holds everywhere so while I am still not able to walk unassisted, I find I can get around quite easily at home! It’s only four or five steps to get water in the kettle and another four or five to put it on, two to the seat and if I need to go all the way to the bathroom it’s a whole 15 steps – mind you that does include 4 steps down and 3 back up each way!
The hardest thing for me to manage is getting into and out of the dinghy and on and off the boat. I have ‘ways’ but I am not yet able to do any of that alone so I am still a bit dependant, but each time I get on and off or in and out of the dinghy it becomes a little easier. I get to go out for coffee (thanks Andrew) with friends and the kids too, and because I now have a car, even getting to the shops is quite a reasonable possibility.
These is something so calming about being back in your own space, back in your own life. Just being able to sit in my home and watch my cat as he watches the birds, his slightly-out-of-reach friends, being able to cook for my kids again, take care of them, do a few of the less urgent cleaning jobs that are so patient, sleep in my own bed – these things are awesome, but it is the fact that my home is out of the ordinary – floating and gently rocking – where I can hear the waves on the beach just a short distance away, hear the birds chatter and see the dolphins as they swim by, these are the things that make my return home all the more dear – that it is a paradise of sorts – a calm easy lifestyle that I really do adore.
We had a little party on board on Wednesday – some of my boatie friends came over and we shared some champagne and celebrated my recovery – albeit not yet quite done – and talked and laughed till late (well boatie ‘late’ at any rate!) and each day different ones have checked on me to see if I need anything or am doing okay.
Yes, blue water and blue skies dotted with wispy cotton-wool clouds and other boats gently bobbing around me, the smell of salt in the air, the indescribable lingering fishy smell close to the shore……remind me that I’m home and home feels like my kind of paradise!